Family is the most important thing in life. I am so lucky to see my parents every day. It is hard for me to imagine a time when that will not be possible. It is impossible for me to imagine going weeks, months, or years without seeing them, but that is the reality for many people.
While I may see my parents every day, I understand how it feels to be away from family, because I do not often have the opportunity to see my aunt and uncle. They mean so much to me and are people I know I can always turn to no matter what. However, they live hours away and over the past few years, my uncle’s job has taken him to several different locales, including one in another country!
This makes it nearly impossible to see them. I always wish I could call them to come over for dinner or to watch a movie or go shopping or to see a play, but without weeks or months of planning and schedule checking, it can’t happen. Even with the planning, it often doesn’t happen.
One thing that brings us all together is food. Western Union understands really well. Many of their customers are “Dual-Belongers,” meaning they live in one place for a better education, career, or life, but their family, and therefore their heart, lies somewhere else. They rely on Western Union to send money home, which seems like no big deal to them. It’s something they do without question or second thoughts.
Food helps link them to their homes, whether those homes are oceans away or a long drive. Once Western Union heard from their customers how important food is in linking them to home, their family, and memories, they created #WUHomeCooked, a heartwarming video in which they surprised some of their customers with a surprise meal from their family!
The video is really inspiring and reminds me how lucky I am to have any family at all close to me. The world can be a really lonely place. It made me think of my aunt and uncle and how they must feel when they are far away from home and family, as well as how I feel missing them.
They don’t always get to cook, a simple thing I take for granted because I do it every day. While eating out is fun, it gets old after awhile, and a homemade meal, or even better, a baked treat sounds good to them. I was inspired by my aunt’s love of banana bread to create these Banana Bread Blondies.
I wish I could send her some (oh! Maybe I could do that!), but I hope if she gets the chance to make them, she feels as connected to me as I did to her while whipping them up.
They have all the classic banana bread flavors with the dense, chewiness of a blondie and are rather addictive. Plus, they only take one bowl to mix together. I think I’ll grab another one while I pick up the phone and talk to my aunt. I hope you find ways to stay connected to those most important to you. Just as Western Union discovered, food is a great way to keep that connection going!
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
3 small ripe bananas, mashed
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13 inch pan. Set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together sugars and butter until combined. Mix in the bananas, vanilla, and eggs. Stir in the flour and salt. Fold in the pecans until evenly distributed.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center of the blondies comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely in pan before cutting into bars.
Blondies may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days, or frozen, individually wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag, for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for about an hour or in the microwave 30 seconds.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.